I am perplexed. "Break down the barriers" is the battle cry over at NOW, and yet I cannot see what walls they mean. What barriers??
More than 6,000 women scientists, engineers, educators and other professionals urged Congress on Wednesday to remove barriers to women and girls who want to enter the fields of math, engineering, information technology, physics and other "hard sciences." The call came in a letter asking for an investigation and corrective legislation and received at a May 11 public event by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and George Allen, R-Va., as former chairs of the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space. Sen. Allen has noted that the U.S. is lagging far behind other countries in graduating engineers, placing this country at a competitive disadvantage.
Is there a plot we don't know about?
Are there admission criteria which hobble women?
If we don't have enough engineers for the available work, does that mean just the women are missing? Wouldn't men fill the gap for the sake of supply and demand?
Could women be avoiding the "hard sciences" for reasons other than imaginary barriers?
Is it possible that secondary schools prepare too few students in general for hard sciences, or are just the girls being held back in some subversive way?
Is it possible that some girls on their own are thinking of other life commitments that might not mesh with high-powered careers like these?
Didn't I just read that girls are performing better in all sorts of academic areas than boys?
What planet are these people on? And what exactly is "corrective legislation?" Call me paranoid, but why do quotas jump immediately into my mind?